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A Unique Opportunity to Protect the Wild & Scenic Illinois River from the 1872 Mining Law

Absent meaningful mining law reform, the next best thing to protect public resources from mining impacts is to withdrawal lands from the 1872 Mining Law.

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The 1872 Mining Law was passed at a time when miners were using donkeys and pickaxes. Today, mining operations utilize helicopters, heavy equipment and gasoline powered dredges, yet they are still regulated by this outdated law. Taxpayers, public lands and salmon are the losers when miners trash resources, pay no royalties and leave the clean-up to the federal government.

Absent meaningful mining law reform, the next best thing to protect public resources from mining impacts is to withdraw lands from the 1872 Mining Law.

In 1992, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) withdrew nearly 4,300 acres along the Wild and Scenic Illinois River from the Mining Law to protect the scenic, recreation and fish and wildlife values of this national treasure. Unless it is extended, that withdrawal expires in June 2013. The BLM is accepting public comments until October 31, 2012 on a 20-year extension of this mineral withdrawal to continue protection on the Illinois River between Deer Creek and the mouth of Briggs Creek.

Unless the mineral withdrawal is extended, mining will take precedent over all other uses on this scenic section of the Illinois with disastrous results for the river and the public.

Take Action for the Illinois River: Please click here to take quick action in support of this beautiful river.

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